I don't know about everybody else, but I've been completely drained by this season. I am literally (figuratively) sputtering to the finish line and I apologize if the quality of my writing or content has slacked in the past few weeks. For a team that wasn't expected to seriously contend for a postseason spot and a season that played out about as we expected, it's been incredibly taxing and I'm going to be very glad when it's over so I can just kick back and watch the postseason games without having to stay up late or drag my ass out of bad early to write another depressing recap. Now onto the links!
- On Monday, William Juliano of The Captain's Blog commented on the pending retirements of Mo and Andy and in what direction that might spur the organization going forward.
- EJ Fagan of IIATMS/TYA displayed an interesting graphical representation of the Yankee farm system's rapid decline in the last 3-5 years, or Exhibit B in the case of why the Yanks aren't built to contend on a budget.
- On Tuesday, SJK of NoMaas questioned many of the late season lineup decisions that Joe was sticking with after the team's postseason hopes were dashed.
- On Wednesday, Andrew Mearns of Pinstriped Bible ranked the top 5 moments of Andy Pettitte's career. Hard to argue with number 1.
- Chad Jennings of LoHud had all the quotes from CC Sabathia on his tough 2013, what he thinks the problems were, and what he's already doing to start re-working things for next season.
- El duque of It Is High... used the Mo bobblehead disaster as a reason to recap the state of the Yankee organization since Hank and Hal took over.
- Alex Pugliese of Yanks Go Yard commented on the double standard for Andy Pettitte and Alex Rodriguez when it comes to PEDs. A very fair point that too often gets passed over by the MSM.
- Mike Axisa of RAB analyzed the upcoming A-Rod suspension appeal and how each potential scenario would work in and against the Yankees' best interests.
- On Thursday, Clive Barker of The Greedy Pinstripes mused on Mo and Andy's retirement and the all but official end of the last great era of Yankee baseball that comes with it.
- SG of RLYW looked back at the history of Yankee 1st round draft picks and where Phil Hughes fits into that history now that his Yankee career is almost assuredly over.
- On Friday, Greg Corcoran of Bronx Baseball Daily weighed the pros and cons of this offseason's top 2 international FAs, Jose Abreu and Masahiro Tanaka, and how they could fit the Yankees' needs.
- Chris Mitchell of Pinstripe Pundits looked back on the never-ending rotation of warm bodies through the Yankee infield in 2013, and how bad the performance from the majority of that group was.
This week's jam is "Enter Sandman." For obvious reasons.
Enjoy your weekends, everybody.
Friday, September 27, 2013
(Courtesy of the AP)
There's nothing to really say about the first 7 innings of last night's game. The Yankees as a baseball team are a dead stick, they know it, and they're playing like it. Joe can say whatever he wants about respecting the game, but his team isn't stepping on the field with any real passion or desire to compete and it's putting a sour ending to what's already been a tough season. The real story last night was Mariano Rivera's final appearance at Yankee Stadium and it was a memorable one. He pitched well, got countless standing ovations, and got to share a really touching moment on the mound with Andy and Jeter when they came out to get him and give him a chance to walk off the Yankee Stadium mound to applause one more time. It was a very emotional finish to an otherwise emotionless game.
- Ivan Nova made his final start of the season and he was pretty good again. He gave up a few hits early, but escaped thanks to some key double plays on well-located fastballs down in the zone. He also had the curveball working for swings and misses, and got 3 Ks in the first 3 innings.
- He gave up his first run of the night on a single, walk, single combo to start the 4th, then loaded the bases with only 1 out. Needing to limit the damage to give his offense a chance, he retired the next 2 batters to hold the game at 1-0.
- Not that it really mattered, because even with a few kids in the lineup it was still limp. They got 1 hit off Tampa starter Alex Cobb through the first 7 innings - in the bottom of the 1st - and only Curtis Granderson reached second base after walking and stealing a bag in the 2nd.
- Nova made 1 bad mistake with a fastball to Delmon Young to lead off the top of the 7th and Young, still a Yankee killer, hit it for a home run to double the lead. He gave way to Dellin Betances in the 8th and Betances promptly created a 2-run mess to set up Mo.
- The crowd was only there to see Mo and he gave them a helluva show. With 2 on and 1 out, he escaped the 8th on 6 pitches, then he came out and retired the first 2 batters of the 9th to set up the dramatics.
- Wanting to give him a special send-off, Joe sent Andy Pettitte and Derek Jeter out to the mound to get the ball from Mo. As soon as they reached the mound and Mo hugged Andy, all the emotion came out of him in what was truly a touching sports moment. 3 teammates, together for the last time, the final image of the great Yankee dynasty of the last 15+ years. Mo got the moment he deserved, the applause he deserved, the love he deserved, and the final score of the game didn't mean a thing.